The Los Angeles Clippers won their second game in a row with a 104-88, easy victory against the Dallas Mavericks, led by Blake Griffin and also by DeAndre Jordan, making Mark Cuban pull all kind of salty, bitter faces on the sidelines, despite trying to act like he doesn’t care.
Griffin led the Clippers for a second straight night scoring 26 points on 11-of-17 from the field, adding 10 rebounds. He didn’t have to show his growing range of shots and moves against a team with no interior defense. Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points for the Mavs who shot just 36.1% from the field, which is what you usually get when you two best guards aren’t even playing. Paul Pierce scored 6 points in 20 minutes on 1-of-6 from the field.
Rule of thumb this preseason for the Mavericks? Whenever John Jenkins is their top scorer, it usually means it was a bad game. Turns out it works in the regular season as well. Jenkins got the start over the resting Wesley Matthews (Mavs very cautious with him) and finished with 17 points, but Deron Williams not playing as well meant the whole planned offensive game was thrown off its balance. They’re inferior as is against the Clippers, and without their two starting guards it’s not a fair fight.
Not that it mattered to the Clippers. Their impressive form on opening night carried through to night number two of their season. They scored 18 points on the fast break in famous lob city fashion, helped by four blocked shots from DeAndre Jordan who didn’t erupt for an offensive performance of a lifetime (6 points, 2-of-8 from the line) but did have 15 rebounds and a lot of shots altered by him, while also getting on the nerves of Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban.
Jordan is throwing salt on the Mavs’ wounds, and yelled and flexed after being hard fouled by Nowitzki, which led to technical fouls. Mark Cuban said he doesn’t know who Jordan is before the game, and then went on to say that you can change the owner, you can change the players but the Clippers are who they’ve been for the past 30 years. He wouldn’t have said it if the Clippers hadn’t helped Jordan pull a 180 (or was it a 360 actually) during the offseason. He simply channeled negative energy to his players, doing their best to beat up on him.
You know the Clippers played well when Chris Paul doesn’t get a lot of time on the floor. Paul played for just 24 minutes, scoring 9 points with 5 assists, because he didn’t need to do more. Jamal Crawford finished with 15 points and Austin Rivers, on a quest to show he belongs in the NBA, finished with 14 points after getting fined for throwing a cushion into the crowd the previous night. J.J. Redick, with two 3-pointers, scored 12 points.
The good thing about this rivalry is that there seems to be hate brewing between the teams over nothing. The bad thing about it, at least for this season, is that the Mavericks aren’t going to be much of a factor in the playoff race. Not getting Jordan screwed them, also making them lose Tyson Chandler and leaving them with a big hole in the paint that Zaza Pachulia and Salah Mejri aren’t going to fill. But things will be hot in Dallas when the Clippers come to visit on November 11.